4 kids in 3 years: reflections on motherhood, art and life.
I did something crazy. I agreed to join a blog hop with a posse of amazingly cool bloggers. I literally thought to myself, “This is awe-some! The kids go to day camp on Monday, so I can totally write and post this thing Monday… or maybe Tuesday…”
The bloggess in question? Meredith from Perfection Pending, an early blog-crush. She writes about her three cute kids (of course) and her life as a stay-at-home Mom, but amidst the joy of easy meals and cute pin-able ideas, she’s really writing about being human, growing, laughing, loving. You know, the little things. Her latest post, How to Let Your Kids Help in 34 Simple Steps had me laughing out loud and What Does Bravery Look Like When You’re a Mom had me feeling the chokey voice.
Anyway, Emily from Girl Always Interrupted tagged her and Carisa Miller tagged her and Amy Flory from Funny is Family tagged her and Stephanie Jankowski from When Crazy Meets Exhaustion tagged her and so on and so on, like a Faberge Shampoo commercial without all the feathered hair. Or maybe it’s like six degrees of Kevin Bacon. He may have even written the first post. (I dare you to check.)
Here are the questions: Why do I write? What does my writing process look like? Why am I different than other writers? What am I working on?
Now that it’s time for me to actually write though, the thought of this gives me that feeling I get when my seven-year-old son says to me, “What are you doing? Working on your blo-o-og?” And he says “blog” in this way that sounds sort of snarky, and makes me feel kind of attention-seeking or (worse yet) lazy. Like when my husband pops by midday to pick up something he forgot, and just when he walks in I’ve sat down to write for five minutes but I haven’t done the breakfast dishes or emptied the dishwasher yet. I mean, he’s not judging me, we both know I mostly never sit down. Yet I’m judging me. Who do I think I am sitting down in the middle of the day like that?
But writing feels like something I need to do. Like the words and ideas burble up and up and I have to empty it all out or I’ll choke on the words. And occasionally I can’t figure out why I feel what I feel. Like the day I just kept thinking, “I don’t like seven-year-old boys. I don’t like seven-year-old boys.” Until I finally sat and wrote about it and I realized that I kind of feel bad for seven-year-old boys. I mean, being that snarky and having such outlandishly big feet for the size of your legs… that can’t be fun. Am I right?
And so I sit in my son’s car line and write down things like, “Diana Nyad swimmer; help our kids succeed; Reid hates herself,” or “I was born naked. But I guess that goes without saying.” Then I stay up way too late at night turning those fragments into something whole. Or I stand, typing away at my computer desk while simultaneously pouring milk, wiping butts and putting people into time out.
Sometimes it seems I’m writing solely for me, but other times, I’m pretty sure I’m writing for my kids, so they can see that I cared, that I thought about things. When I asked my mother how old I was when I started to walk or talk, she said I raised myself. And as an “average” child in a family of disability, I can see how this may actually be pretty much how it felt. But it’s impossible. Someone must have held my hand at some point, right?
I began writing a blog so that I would record the time I took my kids to a farm to pet the animals, so that they would know that I did that for them like my mother never did for me. And while I was looking through old photos of my sisters to prove that they went to the petting zoo without me, I found this.
Yup, me at the petting zoo. My mother did these things for me, braided my hair, trimmed my bangs, taught me to walk, brought me to the petting zoo. But if she doesn’t remember and I don’t remember, it’s like it barely even happened. And I wanted this time in their lives to have happened; I wanted this time in my life to have happened.
In some ways this all makes me just like all the other bloggers out there, and that’s okay. I write about being a mother to my children, growing up in a family with disabilities, being an artist. And lots of people write about these things. Sometimes I’m a smart-acre and sometimes I’m reflective, but usually I’m both. I aspire to be David Sedaris’, Anne Lamott’s, Erma Bombeck’s and Barbara Kingsolver’s love child. Which is both kinky and true, and hopefully might make my writing somewhat unique in a sort of derivative-orgy kind of way.
Coming up on my one year blog-o-versary I’d planned to start writing that book I’ve been saying I wanted to write. And maybe I’ll get a show of my prints. Perhaps I’ll clean out my closet. Or my refrigerator. Or my kids’ drawers. Who knows?! The possibilities are endless.
But one thing is guaranteed. I’m going to keep living this slightly crazy life as a mother, wife, daughter, artist, writer. I’m going to make lists and try to cross things off. I’m going to keep living, living, living this time to its fullest. And hopefully, I’ll continue to capture these swiftly fleeting days, one memory at a time.
Now to tag our next blogging Queen, Brenda Keesal from Burns the Fire. She’s a film-maker, poet, artist, blogger extraordinaire. She’s such a good writer, I stalk her comments on other people’s blogs because even her comments are divine. She was Freshly Pressed for Gabriel Garcia Marquez Saved My Life, which was so well-written, I scrapped what I had written about GGM. Because her writing will make you do that sometimes. In A Family Tree she wrote about her Dad with such stunning prose it’ll take your breath away. Go check her out. Really. She’s worth it.
And then she’ll tell a friend. And she’ll tell a friend. And so on. And so on.